The list of area postseason qualifiers is stretching by the week. Twenty-one Gazette-area teams are substate-bound, and one (Iowa City High) has wrapped up a league championship. The Little Hawks are champions of the MVC Mississippi Division.
Here’s who’s in from around the area — and from area conferences and districts:
4A/MVC: City High (7-0) is the automatic qualifier from the Mississippi Division. Cedar Rapids Washington (6-1) has the inside track in the Valley Division. Cedar Falls (6-1), Cedar Rapids Prairie (5-2) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (5-2) have qualified. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (4-3) is at Dubuque Hempstead (4-3), and that winner wraps up a berth.
3A DISTRICT 3: Decorah (7-0, 5-0) and Western Dubuque (5-2, 4-1) have qualified. The rest of the district’s representation will be complete Friday if Crestwood (4-3, 4-1) beats Oelwein and if West Delaware (4-3, 3-2) downs Independence.
3A DISTRICT 4: DeWitt Central (7-0, 5-0) is a playoff qualifier and wins the district if if defeates Union (6-1, 4-1) Friday. Union and Marion (6-1, 4-1) also are in good shape for the playoffs. The fourth spot will be a scramble between Maquoketa (4-3, 3-2), Benton Community (4-3, 2-3) and Mount Vernon (2-5, 2-3).
3A DISTRICT 5: Mount Pleasant (7-0, 5-0) is in, and wins the district with one more win. Williamsburg (6-1, 4-1) and Clear Creek Amana (5-2, 4-1) are extremely close to joining the Panthers. The final spot could come down to a Week 9 battle between Oskaloosa (3-4, 3-2) and defending state champion Keokuk (3-4, 2-3).
2A DISTRICT 4: Cascade (7-0, 5-0), Sumner-Fredericksburg (6-1, 4-1) and North Fayette (5-2, 4-1) are 1-2-3 in line right now, though North Fayette can throw things into turmoil if it beats Cascade at home Friday. At any rate, all three will make it to the postseason. Monticello (5-2, 3-2) wraps up the fourth berth if it wins at Dyersville Beckman (3-4, 2-3) Friday.
2A DISTRICT 5: Solon (7-0, 5-0) and Iowa City Regina (7-0, 5-0) are substate qualifiers and the winner of Friday’s showdown at Solon is the district champion. Wilton (5-2, 3-2) and Tipton (4-3, 3-2) play Friday at Wilton, and the winner is a substate shoo-in. The loser likely will finish fourth.
2A DISTRICT 6: The champion will be determined in Week 9, when Mid-Prairie (6-1, 5-0) journeys to West Burlington-Notre Dame (7-0, 5-0). Both teams are playoff qualifiers, as is Davis County (5-2, 4-1). Sigourney-Keota (4-3, 3-2) and Mediapolis (3-4, 2-3) have a biggie Friday at Sigourney.
1A DISTRICT 3: It’s all Aplington-Parkersburg (7-0, 5-0) in this district. After that, it’s a mess. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (5-2 overall), South Winneshiek (5-2), Turkey Valley (5-2) and Nashua-Plainfield (4-3) are in a deadlock at 3-2 in the district, and Conrad BCLUW (4-3, 2-3) still has destiny in its own hands. Gladbrook-Reinbeck has the easiest schedule of the hopefuls for second place.
1A DISTRICT 4: Northeast (6-1, 5-0) and Maquoketa Valley (5-2, 5-0) are headed for a winner-take-all game in Week 9, but the Wildcats have a toughie Friday at North Linn (5-2, 4-1). The fourth spot is on the line when Clayton Ridge (4-3, 3-2) travels to Alburnett (2-5, 2-3).
1A DISTRICT 5: West Branch (6-1, 5-0) already has a postseason spot secure and wins the district with one win in its final two games. Belle Plaine (6-1, 4-1) is line for the second slot, with Pekin (4-3, 3-2), Eddyville-Blakesburg (4-3, 3-2) and Iowa Valley (3-4, 2-3) chasing the final two positions.
CLASS A DISTRICT 4: East Buchanan (7-0, 5-0) has a one-game lead and owns the tie-breaker on all of its close pursuers. The Bucs are in the playoffs, and need one win to take the district crown. Four teams are battling for the other three spots, and Elkader Central (5-2, 4-1), Wapsie Valley (5-2, 4-1), Lisbon (4-3, 3-2) and Postville (3-4, 3-2) have some crucial games ahead of them. Wapsie Valley has the advantage on remaining schedule.
CLASS A DISTRICT 5: New London (7-0, 5-0) is the district champion. Lone Tree (5-2, 3-1) and WACO (3-4, 3-1) ought to wrap up substate berths with wins this week, and probably will battle for second place in Week 9. Highland (2-5, 2-2) is in position to take the fourth spot if it can split its final two games.
CLASS A DISTRICT 6: North Tama (7-0, 4-0) is postseason-bound and well on its way to the district crown. Acronyms (i.e., BGM, GMG, HLV) will decide much of the rest of it. HLV (5-2, 4-1) has the inside track, with North Mahaska (5-2, 2-2), BGM (4-3, 2-2) and Garwin GMG (3-4, 2-2) chasing. Lots of big games remain to be played.
8-MAN DISTRICT 4: Central City (7-0, 5-0) has punched a ticket to its first postseason dance in school history. Preston (5-2, 4-1) looks like a lock for another spot, with West Central (5-2, 3-2), Dunkerton (4-3, 3-2) and Lansing Kee (4-3, 3-2) battling for the other two bids. West Central, which looked like a postseason cinch before dropping two straight, closes with Central City and Kee.
8-MAN DISTRICT 5: Tri-County (6-1, 3-0) is at Harmony (4-3, 3-1) Friday, and the district lead is on the line. Tri-County already owns a postseason berth. Melcher-Dallas (5-2, 2-1) and Twin Cedars (5-3, 2-2) probably will qualify.